Body Revolution: Phase 1 Workout 3

Jillian Michaels
Year Released: 2012

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

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This is the third circuit workout of 12 in the Body Revolution series. Jillian leads a cast of diverse (in terms of body type, age, race and gender) backgrounders in a "front of body" workout hitting chest, shoulders and triceps, quads and core/abs. There is a brief dynamic warmup and cooldown/stretch at the end. You'll need dumbbells - they use 3-8# but you can go heavier - and a mat. One exercise uses light-tension tubing but you can substitute dumbbells. I clocked the active warmup plus workout at 33 minutes.

As in the other circuit workouts in Body Revolution, the format is: a strength circuit, 1-minute cardio interval, repeat the circuit, then move on to the next one. There are four circuits total.

Unlike front-of-body Workout 1, which had mostly isolation exercises, Workout 3 focuses on compound moves and lots and lots and LOTS of plank variations. This is a wrist-heavy workout, so if you have wonky wrists you'll want to plan some substitutions or do the plank work on pushup stands or Hex dumbbells. Jillian has backgrounders show some basic modifications, like going to the knees for pushups instead of the toes, but for the rest you'll have to come up with your own ideas.

This is a jump up in intensity from Workout 1. Pushups are on the toes and all the plank work - walk outs into planks, plank to a crescent pose (low forward lunge), elevator planks in which you go from hand to forearm, then back up to hand - are on the toes. Two moves are tricky: I find the standing chest press with the band to be ineffective for chest but a burner/strain for shoulders, so I substitute lying chest flyes or chest press with heavy dumbbells. Jillian also does triceps dips while in reverse tabletop, which aggravate my shoulders; I do single-arm crossbody kickbacks instead. All the weight moves are high rep, in the 14-20+ rep range depending on your pace, so lighter weights are better.

Instructor Comments:
Jillian is motivating and clear in her explanations/cueing. She does very little of the workout, usually starting out the first reps and then walking around to give form tips with her backgrounders as visual aid.



Jillian works out in a gym set with a group of toned background exercisers. Each dvd is in one folder as pictured above. You will need dumbbells and tubing for some of the exercises. Each workout is in Jillians favored circuit format with each exercise being performed for about 1 minute and then repeating the circuits. Each workout contains a built in warmup and cooldown.

Workout 3 Front Body: (36 min) Exercises include pushups, unweighted dips, walk out planks, jump rope, down dog ankle grabs, plie & French press, camel toe touches, squat & military press, plank to crescent, tri dips, side crunches, plie hops, tree & side raise, elevator planks, V knee pulls, and moguls.

Phase 1 are low intermediate workouts, 1 & 2 being less intense than the 3 & 4 . Jillian wastes little time and gets right to work. You can easily modify these up or down by adding weights or using no weights. Jillian offers modifications up & down for some exercises. The strength workouts also include some cardio exercises to keep the heart rate up. These are athletic style workouts that easy to follow. I received these dvds to review.



I am a BIG Jillian fan and have most of her workouts, so was naturally very excited to get her Body Revolution system! This is a progressive system and she does a great job of upping the intensity not just with each phase but with every two weeks (for instance, Phase 1 workouts 1 and 2 are easier than Phase 1 workouts 3 and 4). She leads with a big group of men and women in a clean, uncluttered studio setting and they seem to have a lot of comraderie between them. She uses 3, 5, and 8# dumbbells (I think you can go heavier at times) and the band that comes with the set. The band is made out of a bungee-cord (rather than rubber tubing) but is nothing special, you can use your own band.

Each workout is about 35 minutes long with a 3-4 minute warm up and maybe 2 minute stretch (I tend to spend more time on the stretch) and the circuits generally have 3-4 strength moves, a cardio move, repeat strength moves, then move on to next circuit. The strength moves have a good cardio impact, but I would say the workouts are more strength-oriented (hence the additional cardio workouts). The odd-numbered workouts focus on the “front side” – abs, quads, shoulders, chest, triceps, and the even-numbered workouts focus on the “back side” – back, hamstrings, glutes, biceps. So they all sort of feel like total body workouts, but would still be considered split routines, and you would need to pair both even/odd days to hit all the body parts. For that reason, they are somewhat difficult to use as standalone workouts, unless you did two at once. But they are well balanced within the system.

The P1W3 workout definitely steps up in intensity from workouts 1 and 2. Jillian raves about how much progress you’ve already made (applause from cast) and what a bad ass you are that you’ve survived workouts 1 and 2 (rolling eyes…these kind of comments get annoying when you repeat them, whether you’re following the system or not). The workout has pushups on toes (knees is beginner modification), downward dog with hand touching opposite ankle (isometric hold), unweighted alternate backward lunges (optional weights), plank walk-outs, jump rope, (repeat strength), plié squat with French press, camel pose with backwards toe touches, squat with overhead press, standing chest press with band, fast punches (cardio), (repeat strength), alternate crescent lunge, tricep presses in tabletop position (optional one leg raised), side crunch raising legs (optional keep legs straight), plyo plié squats, (repeat strength), side shoulder raises balanced in tree pose (beginner modification, keep foot by ankle instead of inner thigh), plank up/downs, crunch with knee ins (optional, hands up instead of on floor), skier jumps (cardio), repeat strength. Cool down.

I would rate the Phase 1 workouts W3 and W4 as intermediate-high intermediate workouts. She still gives a lot of form pointers but often repeats that you’re ready for more and she expects more of you. I would compare them to Ripped in 30 or 30 Day Shred, level 1-2, in terms of intensity.

Instructor Comments:
I think Jillian is more personable in this system (more encouraging, less yell-y) and jokes a lot with her backgrounders, but is still sort of loud and pushy classic Jillian. I notice that as the system progresses, she talks more and more about how bad-ass the system is and how great your physique must be looking from workout out with her, which I find tiring. I think that’s one of the reasons I haven’t really revisited the system since completing it.

Emily B.